Lesléa Newman

Looking at Her

Yes, I was looking at her
Yes, I knew her very well
Yes, I had lived inside of her
Yes, I had lived outside of her
Yes, she had fed me and clothed me
Yes, she had rocked me and soothed me
Yes, I had brought her much pleasure
Yes, I had brought her much pain
Yes, we had fought with great fury
Yes, we had kissed and made up
Yes, I had moved far away from her
Yes, I remained very close to her
Yes, that day I was looking at her
Yes, she was stiff and unmoving
Yes, she was dressed in a shroud
Yes, her two lips stitched together
Yes, her two eyelids sewn shut
Yes, I bent over her casket
Yes, I applied her pink lipstick
Yes, I brushed blush on her cheekbones
Yes, the farewell the departure
Yes, the silence the longing
Yes, I was with and without her
Yes, I was looking at her

Lesléa Newman is the author of 65 books for readers of all ages including the poetry collections SWEET DARK PLACES, STILL LIFE WITH BUDDY, NOBODY’S MOTHER and OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD (novel-in-verse). Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. From 2008-2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Currently she teaches at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA program. “Looking at Her” is from Lesléa Newman’s newest poetry collection, I CARRY MY MOTHER which will be published by Headmistress Press in January 2015.